Action Research - Explained
What is Action Research?
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What is Action Research?
Action Research (AR), proposed by Kurt Lewin (1946) is a (typically cyclic or spiral) process for planning change interventions and for intentional learning from experience.
Action research can be described as the process by which practitioners attempt to study their problems scientifically in order to guide, correct, and evaluate their decisions and actions. (Stephen Corey, 1953). Or more simply, as researching on the implications or effect of an action that is planned to resolve a certain problem.
The method is characterized by intervention in real world systems, followed by close scrutiny of the effects.
It is an informal, qualitative, interpretive, reflective, collaborative and experimental methodology that requires all the participants to be collaborative researchers.
In a way the action research method combines the strengths of academic research (objective, scientific, but not necessarily relevant) and consulting research (often subjective and case-based, often not very scientific, but tuned towards relevancy).
What is the Action Research Process?
Action research is a three-step spiral process of
- planning which involves reconnaissance;
- taking actions; and
- fact-finding about the results of the action.
Per Kemmis and McTaggart (1988), a present-day action research cycle could have the following steps:
- Data Collection > Evaluation > Action > Critical Reflection > Data Collection > Evaluation > Planning (definition of the problem research practices) > Acting (implementation) > Observing (action and data collection) > Reflecting (developing revised action derived from what has been learned) > ....